PROVIDENCE – Formetrix Inc., a designer and producer of steel alloys for 3D printed components, was recently spun out of Providence-based company NanoSteel.
The spin off took place in September. Since then, the company – which was the additive manufacturing business unit of NanoSteel – has appointed a new CEO, Scott Pearson, and announced that it is moving its headquarters to a yet-to-be disclosed facility in the Greater Boston area.
The company specializes in high-performance steel alloy powders that are 3D printable.
Pearson, who started at Formetrix in early January, has a background in business management as well as engineering, most recently serving as president and CEO of Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based company specializing in saltwater battery technology.
Pearson noted that, including Formetrix, this is the sixth startup he has worked at as president and/or CEO.
“I like to come into companies like Formetrix and take it from early stage or lab stage all the way up to full commercial stage and a viable profitable company,” he said.
Pearson said the decision to spin-out Nanosteel’s additive manufacturing segment into Formetrix was straight forward: “NanoSteel has been in business for a while, and they are focused on sheet steel, primarily for automotive … one market that serves big and traditional industries,” Pearson said. The additive materials business “has different customers, different manufacturing, different business model, all of the above, and they really don’t live very well under the same roof. They’re just very different. The logic for spinning it out is to let both companies focus on what they do best and not be encumbered by the other side.”
Currently, the companies are co-located. Pearson said that the spin off is part of the decision to move headquarters, but not the only reason. He noted that NanoSteel had labs and operations elsewhere in the U.S.
“Formetrix doesn’t have that. We need that, so the spin out is about getting us a mixed-use facility that has offices, laboratories and light manufacturing space.” Pearson said.
Pearson also noted that that the company’s requirements for a headquarters limited its options on where it could move.
“Real estate for what we wanted is scarce, which is the defining reason [for the move], and we happened to find it in Massachusetts,” he said. “We were really focused on the economic corridor between Providence and Boston, so it wasn’t an ‘avoid Providence’ move and it was much more of a ‘let’s find a place that fits us’ and that’s where we ended up.”
Pearson said the company’s next move will be an aggressive move to market, to get more commercially focused and to scale the revenue side of the business. He also said that the company will focus on “continuing to innovate on world-class alloys and expanding our offering so we are able to address more markets.”
Formetrix currently has four employees, but will have a few new positions, according to a company spokeswoman.
Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.